Mazzeo to Host Community Office Hours in EHT Tomorrow

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo will be hosting another edition of his "Community Office Hours" program tomorrow, Wednesday, June 29th between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM at the Egg Harbor Township Library.

Assemblyman Mazzeo started this program shortly after being sworn into office in 2014 to provide residents the opportunity to meet with their legislators outside of normal office hours, at a convenient and easily accessible location in their community.

Anyone with additional questions may contact his district office at (609) 383-1388.

Mazzeo & Whelan Get $4 Million for Stockton's Atlantic City Gateway Campus Included in Proposed 2017 Budget

Today, Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and Senator Jim Whelan, both Democrats from Atlantic County, announced that their budget resolution for increased state aid for Stockton University's future campus in Atlantic City was included in the Legislature's Fiscal Year 2017 state budget that will be sent to Governor Christie.

A-4000, the Legislature's budget proposal, includes an additional line-item of $4,000,000 for Stockton's "Gateway Campus" being built in the Chelsea neighborhood of Atlantic City.

"Stockton's Gateway Campus is just the beginning of the effort to revitalize Atlantic City so that we can spur growth, investment and bring new jobs to local residents," said Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo. "Stockton is a world class university whose presence in Atlantic City brings nothing but positivity for the future of our city, its residents and the students lucky enough to be educated at the future Gateway Campus. We're proud to have fought the good fight, and won, to get this money included in the Legislature's budget."

"Historically, the State has provided funding to institutions of higher education when they have embarked on important expansions," said Senator Whelan. "As Stockton prepares to fulfill a dream of establishing a full campus in Atlantic City, it is only fair that the State assist Stockton in this effort. I urge the Governor to include these funds for Stockton when he takes action on the budget."

"We are grateful to Senator Whelan and Assemblyman Mazzeo for sponsoring this budget resolution, and we hope that it will be included in the final budget" said Dr. Harvey Kesselman, president of Stockton University. "The Gateway Campus is a win-win for our university and our region. It will provide new opportunities to our students and faculty while at the same time injecting newfound energy into Atlantic City."

The 2017 Budget legislation includes $22.391 million in state appropriations to Stockton University of which $18.391 million is Grants-in-Aid from the state plus an additional $4 million in funds from a budget resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Mazzeo, Senator Whelan along with co-sponsors Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Senator Jeff Van Drew and Senator Chris Connors.

Both the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees are expected to approve the budget today. It then heads to the floors of the Senate and General Assembly for consideration next week.

Suleiman Elected Atlantic County Democratic Chair

EGG HARBOR CITY -- Michael Suleiman was unanimously elected Chairman of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee at tonight’s reorganization meeting.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support I received from the members of our party,” said Suleiman, of Galloway Township. “With the upcoming presidential and gubernatorial elections, I never thought I would have the honor of leading our party during this exciting time.”

Also elected to positions on the executive board were Mary Slomine of Margate as Vice Chair, Stephen Dicht of Ventnor as Treasurer, Sherry Elder of Atlantic City as Secretary, Ernest Aponte of Mullica Township as Deputy Treasurer, Wick Ward of Pleasantville as Assistant Secretary, and Nashir Sheikh, Rizwan Malik, and Steve Young, all from Atlantic City, as Sergeants-at-Arms.

“I look forward to working with Michael and the rest of the dedicated members of our executive board,” said Slomine. “We have a great team in place that is ready to grow and rejuvenate our party.”

“The differences between the two parties in Atlantic County could not be more clear,” said Suleiman. “While the Atlantic County Republicans support Donald Trump -- a man who boasts about putting hard-working Atlantic County residents out of work and who promotes hateful and offensive rhetoric, we will continue to support candidates at all levels of government who are fighting to reduce the growing financial burden on our residents, one family at a time.”

To learn more about the Atlantic County Democratic Committee or to get involved, go to atlanticdemocrats.com.

Primary Election Polling Place Moved in Hamilton Township

Attention residents of The Woodlands and Hamilton Greene in Mays Landing: your polling place for Tuesday's primary election has been moved to Oakcrest High School. Rides to the polls will be provided from 8:30 a.m. until the polls close at 8 p.m. If you or someone you know needs a ride to the polls, please call 609-350-9186 or 609-317-6116.

For more information about voting in this Tuesday's primary, please email info@atlanticdemocrats.com.

Whelan Statement on A.C. Recovery Legislation

Today, Senator Jim Whelan (D - Atlantic) released the following statement after the Senate approved the Atlantic City recovery bill package:

"While today's passage of Atlantic City recovery legislation is just the beginning in the fight to stabilize the city's finances, we have provided a much-needed lifeline to Atlantic City in order to avoid bankruptcy. It is now up to city government, the Mayor and City Council, to make very difficult decisions and offer a clear plan to balance its budget. I strongly urge the governor to sign these bills into law as soon as possible so we can begin to move forward."

Mazzeo to Hold Mobile Office During Richland Village Festival this Saturday

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo will be hosting the next installment of his "Community Office Hours Program" at the Richland Village Festival this Saturday, May 28th between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

Assemblyman Mazzeo started this program to provide residents the opportunity to meet with their legislators outside of normal office hours, at a convenient and easily accessible location in their community. Assemblyman Mazzeo is excited to bring his office hours to such a popular, family friendly event in Buena Vista. Representatives from the office will be on hand to answer questions and have information available for assistance programs for seniors, veterans, and families.

WHAT: Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and his staff will be hosting his "Community Office Hours Program" at the Richland Village Festival

WHEN: Saturday, May 28   10:00AM- 2:00PM


WHERE: Michael Debbi Park, Cedar Avenue, Richland, NJ

WHELAN BILL TO IMPROVE APPOINTMENT PROCESS OF STATE ETHICS COMMISSION ADVANCES

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan that would create new qualification requirements for members of the State Ethics Commission and overhaul the appointment process was approved by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee today.

“The State Ethics Commission plays an important role in the establishment and enforcement of ethical standards for state employees,” said Senator Whelan (D-Atlantic). “Ensuring that it is free of political influence will not only maintain the Commission’s independence and impartiality, but it will preserve the integrity and the public’s trust in its work.”

The State Ethics Commission was created to administer and enforce the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law and some sections of the Casino Control Act. Under current law, the Commission is comprised of four public members and three members appointed by the Executive Branch.

The proposed bill, S-2100, would require that, of those three Executive Branch appointees, one is an officer or employee of the Division of Law in the Department of Law and Public Safety and another is an officer or employee of the Office of the State Comptroller.

The bill would also create an Appointment Advisory Panel comprised of six retired judges or retired justices of the Superior or Supreme Courts of New Jersey, with no more than three members from the same political party. Under the bill, one of the panel’s members would be appointed by the Governor, one by the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, one by the Senate President, one by the Senate Minority Leader, one by the Assembly Speaker, and the last by the Assembly Minority Leader.

Three months before the end of a commission member’s term, or five days after a vacancy, the Governor, the Attorney General, or the Commission would notify the panel of the vacancy. The panel would convene within five days of receiving notice and, within 60 days, provide a list of three possible replacement candidates to the Governor. If within ten days of receiving the list, the Governor chooses to nominate an alternative, the bill requires that appointment be subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

“The new appointment procedure proposed under the bill will serve to remove politics from the selection process, which has come under criticism in the past, and eliminate doubt over the work of the State Ethics Commission,” added Senator Whelan.

The bill would further require that all members of the commission and the panel be residents of the State, at the time of their appointment and during service on the commission or panel. It would take effect immediately upon passage. Six months after the effective date, all terms of current members of the commission would be terminated, but would be eligible for reappointment.

The bill was released from the Senate State Government Committee by a vote of 4-0. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Mazzeo Responds to Gov's Veto of Wind Energy Bill

(TRENTON) - Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) released the following statement regarding the absolute veto of his wind energy cultivation bill (A-3093):

"It's disappointing to see the Governor join the BPU in standing in the way of wind energy production and job creation in Atlantic City. 

"This bill would have simply allowed revised applications like the Fisherman's Energy project off the coast of Atlantic City to be heard again. Fisherman's Energy heeded the advice of the BPU and revised their application making it more cost effective among other changes. 

"By blocking legislation mandating the BPU to revisit applications, the governor has failed to honor the OWEDA pledge he signed in 2010 to green our environment and green our economy.

"This was our opportunity to make New Jersey a leader in the wind energy industry with a diversified energy portfolio that would have put men and women in the Atlantic City region back to work."